Office Of Public Affairs

A Healthy Morning Out: 5 for Life Day is Like Going to a Medical Spa

Feb 4, 2008 10:00 AM

Denise Cox showed up at the Greenwood Health Center at 8:30 a.m.; by 9:10 a.m. she had completed a bone-density scan, a mammogram, blood work, and had time to sit down and eat a healthy breakfast. In 40 minutes, Cox had accomplished what sometimes takes days to complete. At 61, this was only Cox’s second mammogram.

Cox was one of more than two dozen women who have participated in the Greenwood Health Center’s 5 for Life Day for women only. This half-day event provides five screenings especially important to women: heart disease, breast cancer, cervical cancer, skin cancer, and osteoporosis. “I’ve not been good about keeping up with my health care. I only go to the doctor if I really have to,” admits the retired school teacher and grandmother of 14.  "But this was all so self-contained, I would have been silly not to have taken advantage of it.”

The convenience of updating your health care all in one morning is a big draw—one woman even flew in from California—and the atmosphere is all about women: fresh flowers, soft music, massages. Doctors seem relaxed and not rushed—taking their time with patients, providing referrals, and talking through concerns. In the waiting room, women can sip coffee or eat a bagel, pick up literature and talk to health educators, and chat with the other women.

After the first 5 for Life Day last summer, Greenwood Health Center Director Jean Tealey, R.N. noted how many women shared stories about loved ones who had battled the same diseases they were now taking steps to prevent. “Not only did these stories help inform these women but they also underlined the importance of these screenings,” says Tealey, who spearheaded the event as a community outreach project. In the future, she hopes to offer a 5 for Life Evening.

Kay Cannon, 55, works full time, has five children, and 11 grandchildren. Scheduling time for herself is a luxury, but after her morning at the Greenwood Health Center, she found a doctor and is determined to take better care of herself. “I’m ready to make the switch and start focusing more on my body,” says Cannon. “I feel more committed to my health now than I have in a long time.”

The next 5 for Life Days are: March 22 and May 17. To register or for more information call Linda Darcy at 213-9441.

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